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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  April 15, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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>> i'm sure you're one more thing was excellent. >> it was fun. >> thank you for being here on "the five." we love having you. set your dvrs. never miss an episode. special report is up next. we have the burning town hall -- bernie sanders town hall right after that. help us, go. >> bret: dana, thanks. this is a fox news alert. i'm bret baier, coming to life tonight from bethlehem, pennsylvania, in the shadow of the closed bethlehem steel plant where we are less than 30 minutes away from a fox news town hall meeting with vermont senator bernie sanders, who has raised the most money and is pulling the best among declared democratic candidates so far. we've also been awaiting the imminent release of the senator's tax returns. ten years of them. we will have complete coverage of tax day and set up tonight's event in just a few minutes. but first, one of the most famous structures in the world appears to be heavily damaged and in ruins tonight.
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notre dame cathedral in paris, the 12th century monument, iconic site for catholics around the world, that draws millions of tourists each year to paris, engulfed in flames today. the spire collapsed into the cathedral about an hour after that blaze broke out. this is a live look at paris where the fire is still burning, but is dying down. the structure was being renovated and authorities say the fire likely began from that. the investigation is continuing. president trump addressed the tragedy this afternoon. >> it's one of the great treasures of the world, and it's burning very badly, looks like it's burning to the ground. but it's a terrible sight to behold. >> bret: the fire strikes during lent, less than a week before good friday and easter. correspondent benjamin hall's life tonight in london. good evening, benjamin. >> good evening, brett. tonight i can tell you paris is totally in shock.
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this is a symbol not just of paris as a city but of france, europe, and as you pointed out, of the catholic church. we have to start from president macron in the last half-hour and he is fortunately said that the fire has been contained and at least those two critical towers on the facade will be saved as well. it happened just after 6:00 p.m. in paris, around 12 eastern after the church, the cathedral had shot to tourists. it's believed to have started the back roof of the cathedral under the scaffolding which have been placed for a major $7 million restoration. it is not believed to be arson or terror-related. an hour later, thick smoke was billowing across paris before flames began to appear, engulfing that entire roof is the forest of wooden beams inside it took hold. finally the roof caved in and the famous spire that looks out over paris crumbled. it's thought now though that the fire will go on for several days. a large-scale operation not only to save the cathedral, but also the artworks, books, the relics,
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the history contained inside is now underway. it actually took fire entrance about two hours to arrive, but is not going to let quite known yet why so long. access to which the cathedral sits in the very heart of paris is difficult both because of the small bridges that lead to it but particularly in this case because of the tourists. so many people had come back to catch a grams of this cathedral burning that they managed to stop the fire authorities get to it. the height of the cathedral also meant that it was impossible for hoses to reach the very top. president macron outside cathedral just half an hour ago that want to rebuild saying it has stood for 800 years, that it has survived wars, the nazi occupation and it would stand again. >> bret: benjamin hall in london, thank you. now back here to bethlehem, pennsylvania, and tonight's town hall meeting with democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders. this, of course, is april 15th, tax day.
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taxes will now, at this moment, receiving the senator's tax returns. president trump continues, by the way, the trump administration as well, continues to reject calls for the president to release his. kevin corke is at the white house without president trump's tax overhaul is playing for him politically, but first, the breaking news, correspondent peter doocy here in bethlehem with why senator sanders has a slightly bigger tax bill this election cycle just minutes ago. good evening, peter. >> good evening, bret. just minutes ago senator sanders walked into the town hall building and right after he did, we got ten years worth of his tax returns, and abridged summary from the campaign does say that last year he made $561,000, paying a 26% tax rate and it also shows that last year he donated 3.4% of his income to charity, but they are saying that's not all, that he donated to charity, because some income
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from projects outside of his senate salary also go directly to charity so taxes are the theme of today and they've been something that senator sanders has talked about for years. >> there's a difference between bernie sanders 2019 and bernie sanders 2016 when he said this. >> we are seeing a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires. >> now he's one of them. the self-described democratic socialist is a millionaire, and proud of it. >> i don't apologize for writing a book that was number three on "the new york times" best seller. >> even though it would move his tax bill, sanders writes on foxnews.com, i believe that the wealthiest people in this country have got to start paying their fair share of taxes. president trump won in 2016 even though he never released his tax returns and it doesn't sound like the plan is any different for 2020. his attorney says "we have once again reiterated our objections
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to the unconstitutional demand for the president's tax returns." the president's reelection effort is more focused on trying to peg progressive challengers a socialist, which of the dnc chairman sees as a smoke screen. >> in 2018, the distraction from the trump campaign was caravans, caravans, caravans buried in 2020, the destruction of the trump campaign is going to be socialism. >> democrats see a distraction, but republicans see dollar signs. the term camping raised a staggering $30 million in the first quarter of 2019, head and shoulders above any of the early democratic challengers. if trump campaign manager brad pascal believes that "the president is in a vastly stronger position at this point than any previous incumbent president running for reelection, and only continues to build momentum." now one of the newest democrats in the race is trying to repurpose president trump's famous slogan, "make america great again." >> the problem is they are telling us to look for greatness
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in all the wrong places because if there is one thing that the city of south bend has shown, it's that there is no such thing as an honest politics that revolves around the word "again." >> mayor pete's profile continues to grow. this only one democratic candidate who keeps excited supporters showing up hours before events to cycles running and it's not buttigieg, it's bernie. >> i've been to one bernie sanders rally before and absolutely loved it. i was first in line then too. >> we just had to minutes go through the sanders tax release a little bit more. the senator does include a statement where he says that the tax returns show that our family has been fortunate, and i am very grateful for that, and it goes on later to say i consider paying more in taxes as my income rose due to obligation and an investment in our country and we expect to hear more about that tonight. bret. >> bret: you bet. peter doocy just outside the
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hall here. we are going through with experts the tax returns, expect to have a little bit more detail on individual returns later on the shoulder in the meantime, on this tax day, president trump is embracing his tax reform plan. no surprise there. others are reminding most americans that they likely did receive a tax cut this year. correspondent kevin corke is that part of the story tonight from the white house. a good evening, kevin. >> good evening, bret. it was a trump administration taxed a full court press, if you will, sort of an all hands on deck approach to showing the virtues of the tax cuts end of this tax day 2019, but there's a little disconnect. apparently, a lot of voters are still very skeptical of its impact on their bottom line. >> with virtually every relevant voice in the administration taking to the airwaves to talk to the american people this tax day, it was the president's direct message to business leaders in minnesota that perhaps most distinctly drove home the point. >> it is the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in american
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history. with that something done that's truly historic. >> the president that more americans and more businesses are paying fewer taxes, and that means more prosperity for everyone. >> would promise that these tax cuts would be rocket fuel for the american economy, and we were absolutely right. >> despite the high priest, the president seems willing to give his tax cuts, there still appears to be a fairly sizable disconnect in the way they are viewed. the latest fox news poll found that 55% of those surveyed still think their taxes are too high. a separate survey by "the wall street journal" showed that just 17% actually believe their taxes went down, and that's despite the nonpartisan tax policy center estimating that 65% of americans pay fewer taxes in 2018. under the new law, the corporate rate dropped from 35% to 41% and it -- for eight years. >> the top .1% got tax cuts 100
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times with the average person got. when you think about the income disparity in our country and how unfair it is, this made it even worse. >> like taxes, immigration reform has been a staple of the president's stump speech across the country. as the trump administration studies the feasibility of transporting thousands of migrants to sanctuary cities, the administration has also said to be considering new rules that would target foreign nationals of countries whose citizens often overstay their visas, including nigeria, chad, liberia, and sierra leone. countries where the problem is particularly acute. this as much of washington awaits the release of the highly anticipated and likely heavily-redacted mueller report on thursday. on twitter, the president proclaiming his innocence and vindication ahead of the report's release. suggesting i was that i'm to "investigate the investigators." >> as you well know, bret,
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congressional lawmakers have already voted to approve subpoenas for the entire mueller report. if that can set up a constitutional battle and could very well end up in the courts. we will be watching together on thursday. back to you. >> bret: kevin corke live on the north lawn, thanks. the minnesota democratic congressman who referred to the 9/11 attacks as some people did something says she is getting death threats. and she is blaming president trump. supporters of representative ilhan omar say a video tweeted by the president was meant to incite violence. correspondent doug mckelway tells us where things stand tonight. >> over 10 million people have watched the video president trump tweeted friday afternoon. it condemns democratic minnesota congresswoman ilhan omar's alleged insensitivity to 9/11. >> some people did something. >> it replays or forwards over graphic images and live voice descriptions from that day in 2001. but in the three days since the tweet, the condemnation has
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flipped among many progressives and mainstream news outlets. it's no trump was the insensitive one and omar who is the victim. >> i saw the speech she gave, and i saw nothing wrong with it. >> the chair of congressional black caucus coach karen bass added her statement was taken out of context noting omar believes the entire muslim religion was blamed for the actions of a few, also left out omar's admiration for the american ideals of liberty and justice. >> those are very much rooted in the reason why my family came here. >> but from the white house perspective, that context didn't change omar's original offense. >> the only shame i see in this is that democrats and others are standing up and taking the same hard line that the president is. >> in this election season, many in the democratic field were quick to cast judgment. >> we all should rally to a fellow american congresswoman's defense right now. >> it was sent out for the purpose of inciting hate.
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>> at least four other democratic contenders tweeted their disdain. bernie sanders said omar "won't back down to his racism and hate." kirsten gillibrand calls the president's rhetoric disgusting but added as a senator who represents 9/11 victims, i can't accept any minimizing of that pain. sunday night, omar said she's receiving more death threats than usual, prompting speaker pelosi to order a security assessment. improve both public and congressman dan crenshaw, who served three tours of duty in afghanistan, blames the progressive backlash on racial identity politics. >> this is the worst kind of argumentation. if so what they will do as he was identity to try and silence anyone else from saying anything. you're not allowed to say that because of who i am. >> speaker pelosi asked of the president to take the tweet down, and soon after the video disappeared from the top of trump's twitter feed, but it was not deleted. bret. >> bret: doug, thank you. president trump says he will present tiger woods with the presidential medal of freedom. woods won his fifth masters
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title sunday, it was the crescendo of a long come back from physical and personal difficulties for the iconic golfer. the president has not said when that ceremony will be, but the tiger will be at the white house. at the metal is the nation's highest honor for a civilian. stocks were down today. at the dow lost 28. if the s&p 500 will too. the nasdaq dropped 8. the chinese woman accused of illegally entering president trump's florida resort will not be getting out of jail anytime soon. bail was denied today in a south florida courtroom. the judge ruled there was an extreme risk of light if she were released. i think we have susan lee in new york on this tax question. we don't yet. we are just getting details and would got that bernie sanders made over a million dollars total income in 2016 and 2017. that would jibe with his book
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sales. we saw the specific rate, 26%, taxes and the charity he gave at 3%. we are getting through some of these details on the tax returns. up next, the panel on tax day and tonight's town hall with senator bernie sanders, combing through those tax returns, of course released moments before this town hall as we get ready in bethlehem, pennsylvania. keep it here. ♪ i can't tell you who i am or what i witnessed, but i can tell you liberty mutual customized my
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did you know comcast business goes beyond fast with a gig-speed network. complete internet reliability. advanced voice solutions. wifi to keep everyone connected. video monitoring. that's huge. did you guys know we did all this stuff? no. i'm not even done yet. wow. business tv. cloud apps and support. comcast business goes beyond at&t. start with internet and voice for just $59.90 a month. it's everything a small business owner needs. comcast business. beyond fast. >> bret: this is a fox news alert. senator bernie sanders has just released ten years of his tax returns just before our town hall. it let's get some analysis quickly from susan lee of the fox business network, joins us from new york. you've been looking over these for the fast on my past few minutes as they came out, susan.
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top line analysis there? >> first off, bernie sanders made an effective tax rate of 26%, which is much less, the top tax bracket of these high earners. you should have paid 37% and look into the details, it looks like most of that was accounted for as business income at 382,000 of that 500,000 plus and that's being taxed at a lower rate thanks to these new tax cuts by the current presidency and also when it comes to charitable giving us, looking at 18,000, but there's also carryover deductibles as well from 2017 so you can say that bernie sanders effectively gained from the tax cuts thanks to president trump, but also reported a million dollars in earnings in 2016-2017 as well, so that's pretty significant given that a lot of these proceeds came from the selling of his book in 2016 called "our revolution." some of the highlights of our sifting through these ten years of tax returns. bret, back to you. >> bret: just quickly, susan,
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he did take the deductions that were enabled from the new tax cuts. >> yeah, that's right. effectively most of his income in 2018 -- he only paid 26%. of most of that income is considered business income, which is taxed in the 20% range instead of the 37%, which is what high earners above 500,000 should be paying. so yes, there is definitely a benefit here for senator bernie sanders. >> bret: okay. susan lee in new york, we appreciate that quick analysis and turnaround. let's now bring in our panel from washington and elsewhere. fox news senior political analyst brit hume, moralizing, national political correspondent of national public land gnomic radio. and mollie hemingway, senior editor at the federalist. britt, you're getting a result of these tax returns coming out as we are. your thoughts as we hear susan kind of encapsulate those ten years? >> i think it's just fine that bernie sanders made all that money, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest that he's a
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millionaire. it is a little striking that he benefited so richly from the business tax rate afforded him by the trump tax cut, but other than that i think it's fine and perhaps in the fullness of time he will come to realize that such proceeds are worth having, worth earning and worth having a tax rate that accommodates them. >> bret: we will see. >> the profit motive seems to have stimulated him, doesn't it? >> bret: take a listen to bernie sanders before and just in the past few days. >> how does it happen that in america today we got 47 million people living in poverty and yet at the same time, we are seeing a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires? >> i won't apologize for writing a book that was number three on "the new york times" best seller. >> bret: i think it's fair to say on the campaign trail, he
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regularly vilifies millionaires and billionaires and he has conceded he is one of them. >> yes, although personally i think he has dropped the millionaires and talked with the billionaires, but i'm assuming, and i am assuming he will react about this tonight, i pay taxes under the law that exist now but i am looking forward to a new tax system more people like me would pay much, much more. >> bret: molly, your thoughts? you look at the results. again, 56,102,018 but it was really the 26% effective tax rate that raised everybody's eyebrows and the donation of 3.4% to charity, your thoughts? >> first off, kudos to bernie sanders both for selling a product that a lot of people wanted to buy in our system that can make your millionaire. he wrote a book that a lot of people wanted to buy and he benefited from that and also kudos for releasing the tax returns. it's good for americans to be able to see where his income has come from in the last ten years. if i was laid out something you have to do but it's nice if people do that. it is interesting already to
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look for these tax returns and see that there was a fairly low charitable giving and also i don't think he paid extra on his federal taxes. if you think that people are millionaires should be taxed at a higher rate. he does not need the federal government to enforce that in order to be able to do it. you are allowed to voluntarily contribute more and i will have to look through this with a more careful eye but i don't think he did that. >> bret: brit, what about these democrat candidates releasing tax returns running on the issue that the president is not, is that politically positive for the democrats in this race? >> what strikes me today, more than that really, is the fact that so many people in this country believe that they didn't get a tax cut. and that is a product of two things it seems to me, bret. one of them is that the republican party, having gotten a tax cut across the finish line and into law seemed to believe that the tax cut would sell itself to people once it started receiving benefits.
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democrats, in the meantime, started claiming that nobody really got much of a tax cut, that all went to the 1%, and so long as you've heard people like bernie sanders say, and many others. that isn't quite true, and you have to wonder, bret, where these brigades of fact-checkers were when the democrats are making all these false claims. we all now know that about -- t least 65% of the american populace got a tax cut. not nearly that many people think they did. so that's something as we look at this tax issue this tax season, is worth examining it seems to me. >> bret: amaro, "the new york times" had a piece in which it said face it, you probably got a tax cut. if you're an american taxpayer, you probably got a tax cut last year. there's a good chance you don't believe it, so the large degree, the gap between perception and reality on tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained and misleading effort of liberal opponents of the law, the
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message stuck. is this a messaging problem for the g.o.p.? >> i think it's more than that. this is exactly what happened during george w. bush and barack obama won the middle class got a tax cut in previous administrations, they didn't believe it and one of the reasons is when you get a tax cut in your paycheck based on your withholding little by little you don't really notice it. if you could get a big publishers clearing house check delivered to your house in one lump sum, maybe you believe it, but that's not how tax cuts are generally doled out. >> bret: mollie? >> it is a bit going to scale these media stories of all these people saying surprise, surprise, this was a tax cut. part of the reason why people have a wrong idea about it is not just because democratic partisans were saying that, but because so many people in the media carried out water and also claimed that what was a tax reform and tax cut bill was actually a tax increase or some kind of apocalyptic change. that's not just bad because it lies about what the result is on your paycheck, it's bad because we didn't get good stories
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looking at the effect on the overall economy of what happens when corporations can have more confidence, when the economy gets going. bernie sanders talks about problems with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer but having a vibrant economy is one way for the poor to be lifted up, and that's something that's an important story that needs to be told as well. >> that's a key point there, bret. you better take it. >> bret: i just wanted to ask about bernie sanders coming to pennsylvania. >> i'm very much looking forward to hearing you on martha's questioning of them tight because i think you will do the kind of job you always do, and in a rising economy or jobs, even in places like bethlehem, pennsylvania, which has suffered a lot, i'm not sure the case is made for him by that backdrop there. it will be interesting to see how he handles it tonight. >> bret: yeah, panel, thank you very much. apologize for the delay there. thanks for inviting us into your home tonight, that is a for this
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"special report." a fair, balanced and still unafraid, our fox news town hall with senator bernie sanders starts after a short break here in bethlehem, pennsylvania. ♪ introducing the all-new 2019 ford ranger, it's the right gear. with a terrain management system for... this. a bash plate for... that. an electronic locking rear differential for... yeah... this. heading to the supermarket? get any truck. heading out here? get the ford ranger. the only adventure gear built ford tough.
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>> he came within a hair of the 2016 democratic nomination. >> this time, senator bernie sanders says he's going all the way. >> what's going to be different this time? >> we are going to win. >> with a part of a economic party moving left, the independent of aquatic socialist from vermont reminds voters he's the original. >> three years ago during our 2015 campaign, we were told that our ideas were radical and they were extreme. >> and in the shadow of this once iconic steel plant... >> senator bernie kemp dominick sanders talks about the economy, jobs and his vision for the futf america. ♪
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♪ >> good evening here and been slapped dominic bethlehem, pennsylvania, . i'm bret baier. >> martha: and i martha maccallum. incorporated you so much. great to have everybody here. behind us, as you can see, is the now shuttered bethlehem steel plant. >> bret: in its heyday the bethlehem steel plant blasts those furnaces and produced thousands of tons of steel a day. that steel built skyscrapers and helped the u.s. win two world wars. the plant closed in 1995. it really devastating was working class community. >> martha: now there is a new day dawning bethlehem economically and politically. here in northampton country --
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northampton county, which is where we are, they voted for barack obama in big numbers and for the democrat all the way back to bush 41 actually, but it flipped the script in his county and they voted for donald trump in 2016 by a shift of nine points. >> bret: and that's one of the reasons we are here. senator sanders is hoping to get those voters back in the blue column. according to all recent polls, he is leading among declared democrat candidates. ladies and gentlemen, senator bernie sanders. [cheers and applause] >> senator sanders: thank you very much. thank you. >> bret: senator, we wanted to start -- we will get a lot of questions from the audience, martha and i will follow up throughout. let's start by getting work to our audience. our first question is from joe. he is a student from allentown, pennsylvania. what is your question? >> hi, senator sanders. now that your tax returns have been released and you have been identified as a millionaire and in the top 1%, will you pay your fair share, and how do you plan to apply the policies that you've been talking about
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enforcing on top earners? thank you, senator sanders. >> senator sanders: i happen to believe, joe, that we have an absurd tax system, and while millions of people today are paying actually more in taxes than anticipated, amazon, netflix, and dozens of major corporations, as a result of trump's tax bill, paid nothing in federal taxes. i think that's a disgrace. so today -- [cheers and applause] you raised the issue i'm a millionaire. actually this year we had $560,000 income. that's a lot of money, and that money, in my case, my wife's case, it came from a book that i wrote, pretty good book, you might want to read it. [laughter] best seller, best seller sold all of the world, and we made money. if anyone thinks that i should
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apologize for writing a best-selling book, i'm sorry, i'm not going to do it. [cheers and applause] but let me reiterate, i voted against -- i guess i'm fox news you so that it benefited from trump's tax bill, did you tell people i voted against trump's tax bill? sure. >> bret: but you did benefit from it. >> senator sanders: but i voted against it. and i happen to believe that a tax bill written and pushed by trump, who told the american people that that tax bill, some of you may recall, would not benefit the wealthy. do remember that? not going to benefit the wealthy. 83% of the benefits went to the top 1%. i think that's a bad idea and in my view, people, whether it's me, you, probably make a lot more money than i do, but whether it's me or you are anybody else, i think wealthy people and large corporations that are making billions of profits should start paying
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their fair share of taxes. [cheers and applause] >> bret: to your point, and to joe's point, your taxes to show that you're a millionaire. you did make 1 million in 2016-2017. you're right on the 561 in 2017-2018 for your marginal tax rate was 26% because of president trump's tax cuts. why not say on leading this revolution, going to take this? >> senator sanders: come on. i pay the taxes that i owe, and by the way, want to get donald trump up here and ask them how much he pays in taxes. >> bret: we will. >> senator sanders: i am awaiting your doing that. >> bret: we would love to have them. >> martha: we absolutely will. speech rec is the president watches your network a bit, right? [laughter] hey president trump, my wife and i just released ten years. please do the same.
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let the american people know. >> bret: just to wrap that up, you do spend a lot of time vilifying -- >> senator sanders: i don't vilify. the fact that i think people are doing phenomenal and phenomenay well, for four years we have been a shrinking middle class, 40 million people living in poverty and today just so happens that the very wealthy are doing incredibly well. it's not vilifying to say that people who have a whole lot of money, and some cases billions of dollars of wealth, they should pay their fair share of taxes. i'm not vilifying. >> bret: last questions on this. a lot of millionaires and billionaires give a time to charity. you gave 3.4%. >> senator sanders: yeah. my wife and i do give money to charity. and we are proud to do what we did. you're quite right. there are people, gates foundation, do a phenomenal job. we do what we do. >> martha: i've got a couple questions for you. you recommended a well tax. 70% -- >> senator sanders: actually i didn't, that was somebody else.
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i think another person. >> martha: what's her number? >> senator sanders: what's my number? i will tell you what i think. i think that in order to make sure that elderly people do not continue to live in poverty and you've got 20% of elderly people trying to get by on 13,000 or $14,000 a year, i think we should raise that gap for people making $250,000 or more so we can make sure that our parents can live out their lives in dignity. i will tell you else dominic would also think. a time when wall street is doing phenomenally well and we have millions of young people were deeply in debt for the crime of having gone to college, i believe we should pass a speculation tax on wall street. >> martha: that's fine, but i met asking about the wealthy and how much higher you would make it. you don't agree with 70%, what would your number be? >> senator sanders: in the campaign of 2016 we talked about 52%. >> martha: 52%, would you be
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willing to pay 52% on the money may? you can volunteer. >> senator sanders: you can volunteer too. [cheers and applause] >> martha: everybody in your bracket should do. >> senator sanders: martha, you make more money than i do. why don't you do that connect >> martha: i didn't suggest the wealth tax. >> bret: and she's not running for president. >> senator sanders: we are going to fight for the wealth tax and we are going to demand that we end the absurdity were major corporation after major corporations -- do you know wha what? in this tax bill that you are defending -- >> martha: are not defending any taxable, we are asking questions about what you propose. >> senator sanders: families like the koch brothers get billions and billions of dollars in savings. that is absurd. trump wants to repeal the entire estate tax. huge tax breaks for billionaires. you have another question? >> bret: we have many questions. >> martha: we have many questions asked like >> bret: we want to get substance, we want to get detail. >> senator sanders: let's do it. >> bret: the audience has a ton of questions too.
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>> martha: are question comes from kathy harrington. kathy, what's your question? >> hi, senator sanders grade welcome to the lehigh valley. my question is the definition of socialism is just a society agreeing to work together and combining their resources to make sure everyone is protected and taken care of. how can you challenge the idea that socialism is bad? in the minds of the public? >> senator sanders: ask them, not me. >> bret: is this going to be a constant thing? >> senator sanders: no. it will not. >> bret: all right. >> senator sanders: you ask me for questions, i will give you for answers. >> bret: thank you, sir. >> martha: that's the deal. [applause] >> senator sanders: not everyone thought that i should come on the show. >> bret: and we appreciate it. >> senator sanders: all right. your network does not necessarily have a great deal of respect, in my world, but i thought it was important for me to be here and have a serious discussion about serious issues. thanks for the question.
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let's talk about it. i think it's an important issue and it will come up, what is democratic socialism? fair question. let's talk about it. democratic socialism, to me, is creating a government and an economy and a society which works for all rather than just the top 1%. it means ending the absurd inequalities that exist today and i want to lay this out, because you're not going to have as much on fox, and you're not going to have this much in the media in general. the american people have got to conclude whether we think it is appropriate, and what america is about, have three families own more wealth than the bottom, half of american society, 169 people. whether was appropriate for the top 1% to own more wealth than the bottom 92%. whether it is right that 49% of all the income goes to the top
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1%, when many people, bret and martha, were watching this program, or working two or three jobs just to pay the bills. so first of all, we want to create a government that works for all of us, and we want greater political system which is based on one person, one vote, not billionaires buying elections as a result of this disastrous citizens united -- [cheers and applause] and furthermore, furthermore, when i talked -- people have different views of capitalism or democratic socialism, whatever it may be, but this is my view. i believe that human beings, especially in a wealthy democratic civilized society like our own, are entitled to certain basic rights. if so let me be very clear and i'm sure we will discuss it later in the show, bret. i believe that health care is a human right.
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[cheers and applause] and i believe -- i believe that there is something embarrassingly wrong when the united states of america is the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people. i live 50 miles from the canadian border. >> bret: we will get in detail about medicare. >> senator sanders: health care is a right. i believe that education, whether poor, whether you're rich, you have the right to get all of the education you need, and that is why i believe we should make public colleges and universities tuition-free. >> bret: we are going to talk about all of this and we are going to try to talk about how to pay for it, which is a real question. >> senator sanders: absolutely. >> bret: back on the taxes briefly. when you wrote the book and you made the money, isn't that the definition of capitalism and the american dream? >> senator sanders: no. i mean, you know, what we want
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is a country where everybody has opportunity. i have a college degree. i'm a united states senator. a lot of people don't have a college degree. a lot of people are not united states senators. i want everybody in this country to be able to have health care, education so when they turn on the water, have drinkable water, not toxic water. so what we are fighting for, bret, is not a society where a few people can make a lot of money, but a society where everybody in this country has the opportunity to live in security and dignity. >> martha: this weekend, want to talk a little bit about the field of democratic candidates who are out there. this weekend pete booted buttie mayor of south bend announced he is also a candidate for the democratic nomination. he is running. and here's what he said in south bend. >> a moment like that calls for hopeful and audacious voices from communities like ours, and yes, it calls for a new generation of leadership in this
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country. [cheers and applause] >> martha: so buttigieg obviously has been the youngest candidate -- he would certainly be the youngest president if he were to win at 37 years old, and you are 77 years old. he's calling for a new generation. he didn't name anyone specifically, but what do you say to those who have raised the question of whether or not he would be to all that 79 as president? >> senator sanders: follow me around the campaign trail. [cheers and applause] martha, it is a fair question. it's a fair question and all i can say is if there was what he or i would knock on the greatest thank god my health is good. when i was a kid i was a long distance runner, one of the better milers in new york city and continue to have my endurance. but i think when you look at a candidate, yeah, you can look at it, that's fair. you can look at experience. i was a mayor for eight years, a little bit about local government. i was a member of the house, i'm a member of the united states
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senate, i've been all over the world talking to heads of state. so i mean i think it is a combination of factors, but the end of the day, this is what i honestly believe, it's not whether you're young, not whether your old, it is what you believe in. and i have to say -- and i have to say, this is not a criticism of fox, this is a criticism of media in general. there is too much focus on individuals and not in a on the american people. and i want to tell you -- again, this is not just fox, this is all the rest. i go out and i listen to the people and they say -- they asked me questions, those questions are often very, very different than the issues being discussed by media on capitol hill. >> bret: we want to get back to audience questions. i do want to say we understand and we're very grateful that you're here. we are giving you an hour of substance and talk on our airwaves, so we can get over the fox thing. if you're all all right with t.
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okay. brian is a city councilman here in bethlehem. what's your question? go ahead, brian. hold on one second, brian has got the floor. >> senator sanders -- >> senator sanders: where is brian? >> as a member of the council, welcome to the city, my question is as a lifelong kennedy democrat, more specifically center left, my concern is president trump is so inflamed the democratic base that we will shift to far left and overreached the comic like the republicans did with the tea party in 2010, what are your thoughts on that? >> senator sanders: good question. this is what i say every day. i disagree with donald trump on virtually every issue, and i talk about it, and i will tell you what upsets me -- but i will tell you what upsets me the most, and i'm going to answer your question, is that whether your conservative or moderate or progressive, i don't think the american people are proud that we have a president was a
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pathological liar. and i say that -- it does not give me pleasure to say that. i disagreed with george w. bush on almost everything. bush was not a pathological liar. trump cannot even tell the truth even as to where his father was born. really that crazy, his father was born in new york, he claims he was born in germany, but if you can even tell the truth about where your father was born, it's hard to believe anything that he says. but to answer your question, look, if we spend all of our time attacking from, you know what, democrats are going to lose. all right? [applause] our job -- our job is to lay out a vision that makes sense to the working families of this country, and that's kind of what i'm trying to do. over a four-year period, and the video that you showed earlier, i think captured that, we raised issues four years ago which were thought to be extreme and a little bit out there, but today there are accepted by the
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american people, so i think you talk to the people of bethlehem and burlington, vermont, and you say what's on your mind? you know what? among other things, if you work 40 hours a week, people don't want to live in poverty. with got to raise that minimum wage to a living wage. [applause] in my state of vermont and all of this country with got an infrastructure that is falling about, roads and bridges and water systems, we could put 50 million people back to work with a trillion dollar investment. it does that make sense to people? [applause] so i agree with you. i think trump is a dangerous president, but if all we do is focus on him, we lose. our job is to develop an agenda that speaks to the needs of workers. when we do that we are going to win and win big. >> martha: senator, it looks like -- and nobody knows for sure but it looks like vice president joe biden is likely to get into the race.
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are you worried that the dnc, that he would be a strong establishment candidate, obviously been around for a long time, are you worried that the dnc might put its finger on the scale again the way that they did to you back in 2016 with hillary clinton? >> senator sanders: are right, we went through that in 2016 and i think we have come a long way since then. we speak to the dnc every week and i think the process will be fair. one of the important changes that we make and we want is, as you recall, both of you will recall, and the last time around in 2016, secretary clinton had 500 superdelegates lined up behind her before the first vote was cast in iowa, and that seemed to me pretty dumb and unfair. that process has been changed and i think that works well for everybody. >> martha: let me ask you, because now the process is that in the next round the superdelegates will come into play and with so many candidates on the democratic side, it's
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possible that somebody doesn't get 50%. are you concerned -- are you talking to the dnc about that? >> senator sanders: that's what the rule is. that's where we are right now, but you're right. i would hope that the democratic party understands what they didn't some years ago, and that is what we want to hear from you is not political insiders and campaign contributors. if you want to hear from ordinary people in iowa and pennsylvania, and they should determine who the next democratic nominee will be. >> bret: let's go to another question. jordan, a student from scotch plains. he has the next question. >> hi, senator, thank you so much for being here. my question is why he believed the government can provide better health care for them the private sector and wash people who like the plans be forced to switch? >> senator sanders: okay. first of all, let's be clear what we mean by medicare for all. okay? medicare is a government-run program for seniors, which is
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widely popular and quite effective. in 1965 when lyndon johnson passed that bill, it was called by some republicans socialism in every thing else but you go to the average senior news and how do you feel about medicare, and they will tell you that they will oppose any republican effort to cut medicare, and by the way, and trump's budget, he has proposed an $845 billion cut over a 10-year period medicare, which seniors don't want to. so to answer your question, we are not talking about government-run health care. the veterans administration and most veterans think that that's a pretty good health care system, talk to the american legion and the vfw, they strongly defend the veterans health care. that's government-run. what we are talking about is simply a single-payer insurance program, which means that you will have a card which says medicare on it, you will go to any doctor that you want, you will go to any hospital that you
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want, and by the way, millions of people today are in networks which prevent them from doing this, so this gives you freedom of choice with regard to the doctors you go to for the hospitals you go to, but here is the main point when we talk about health care. right now with got 30 million people, zero health insurance, and many of you and tens of millions of americans are under-insured with high deductibles and co-pays, is that correct? all right. so what happens is there are estimates that some 30,000 americans die every single year because they don't go to the doctor when they should. meanwhile, we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, 1 out of 5 americans are getting ripped off by the drug companies who make billions in profits while charging us the highest prices in the world, and on top of all of that, we spend twice as much per capita on health care as do
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the people of any other nation so the question a throwback to, do you think it makes sense to spend twice as much per capita as the people of any other nation and be the only country in the world not to guarantee health care to all people? [applause] >> bret: this audience has a lot of democrats in it. it has republicans, independents, democratic socialists, conservatives. i want to ask the audience a question, if you could raise or hinder, show of hands of how many people get their insurance from work, private insurance, right now? how many get it from private insurance? okay. of those, how many are willing to transition to what the senator says, a government-run system? [cheers and applause] 180 million people in private insurance. they would be lost, right? to your system. >> senator sanders: fair question. let me answer it.
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millions of people every single year lose their health insurance. if you know i? they get fired or they quit and they go to another employer. i was a mayor for eight years. what i did probably every mayor in america does, just look around for the best insurance program, the most cost-effective insurance. if you change insurance. every year millions of workers wake up in the morning and their employer has changed the insurance that they have. maybe they liked the doctors -- people are nodding their heads. okay, so this is not new. every year. what we are talking but actually is stability, that when you have a medicare for all, it is there now, it is there in the future. [cheers and applause] >> martha: let me ask you a question about vermont, because vermont tried to have a single-payer program and in 2014 the democratic governor abandon it because he had to raise income taxes, had to raise payroll taxes and the people of vermont didn't want their taxes to go up. >> senator sanders: that's not quite true. >> martha: they abandon the program.
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>> senator sanders: internal vermont politics of which i know a little bit. >> martha: i'm sure you do. >> senator sanders: the government governor did a rather poor job. if you look at the polling especially among democrats, you tell me, strong majority of democrats, and more than a few republicans want to see a medicare for all program. let's be clear about this. when you are dealing with health care, which is, what is it, 18% of our gdp? talking about three and a half trillion dollars per year and you have insurance companies that make billions and billions of dollars in profit, let me give you an example, if i might, of the dysfunctionality of the current health care system. recently, aetna merged with cps, big merger, which mind you, will drive health care costs up. the gentleman who was head of aetna, and you know he got for putting together that merger? he got a $500 million bonus.
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to think that's how we should spend health care dollars? >> martha: i think everybody is in agreement that health care needs to be fixed in this country, the question is how, and my question to you was, it will drive up taxes to pay for health care, and not just the wealthy will pay for that, the middle class will also pay for it. >> senator sanders: very good. >> martha: how do you justify it? >> senator sanders: martha, what are you not including in your discussion? >> martha: you tell me. >> senator sanders: i will tell you. you're not going to pay any health insurance premiums. >> martha: you're going to pay one way or the other. >> senator sanders: whether it'x or payroll tax. >> senator sanders: health care is not free. >> martha: of course not, you just said it's going to be free for everyone. >> senator sanders: is going to be free of the point of when you use it, okay? why are you so shocked by this? >> martha: because someone's going to pay. >> senator sanders: somebody is going to pay. >> martha: who are they? >> senator sanders: let me talk. it will get through this together. >> martha: it's a common question. >> senator sanders: okay. here we go.
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>> martha: so many questions, ask senator sanders how he is going to pay? >> senator sanders: i got it. let's just say hypothetically, you are self-employed and you've got a husband and two kids, okay? family of four coming to know how much that family is paying today for health care? >> martha: tell me. >> senator sanders: $20,000. $11,000 per person. where think of that family before you aren't going to pay more than 20,000. you're not paying any more copayments, more premiums, anymore deductibles. how is that? 28,000 you are not pain, but does that mean you're not going to pay something cannot of course it does. you're going to pay more in taxes. >> bret: members of congress, we now have gold plated health insurance -- >> senator sanders: no we don't. >> bret: have a special plan that's outside of obamacare, a different plan. two members of congress, are they going to do the transition as well? >> senator sanders: damn right right. of course. of course. i want to make the point -- i want to get back to the point
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that martha raised. look, health care costs money. every other country, virtually every country does it in the same way we do education for our kids. okay? when a kid walks into school, the kid doesn't have to take out a credit card, right? it gets paid for out of public funds. that's what most countries do. if you're asking me -- it's a fair question, are people going to pay more in taxes? yes. but at the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of people are going to end up paying less for health care because they're not paying premiums, copayments and deductibles. >> bret: we are going to get into many more specifics. senator, thank you. coming up, more of your questions for senator bernie sanders, plus two of the issues that could end up really defining the race to the white house as we come back here to bethlehem, pennsylvania, and our town hall. ♪ ♪
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